The Chippewa County Board of Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, February 17, 2004 at 7:00 p.m. in the Courtroom of the Chippewa County Courthouse.

Present: Commissioners Ted Postula, Don Cooper, Rita Dale, Richard Timmer, Aaron Hopper, Jim Moore and Chairman Earl Kay

Also Present: Don and Chris McLean, Jeff Moran, Sheriff, Scott Brand, Evening News, Rosemary Blashill, Christine Lundquist, Ann McKay, Roxanne Bosley, Dale Bosley, Mary Piralli, Bridget Nordurft, Mental Health employees, Tim Dolehanty, Controller, James Terrian, CC Health Dept., Sue Short, Probate Court and Diane Cork, County Clerk

Chairman Kay announced, if there were no objections, that three additional items needed to be added to the agenda. Dr. James Terrian, Chippewa County Health Dept., would give a slide presentation, Brian Peppler, County Prosecutor, would talk on Mental Health and Sharon Kennedy, Register of Deeds, Equalization Director, will address staffing in the Register of Deeds Office. These items would fall after item 5 of the agenda, Approval of the County Board minutes. No objections were voiced.

It was moved by Commissioner Cooper, supported by Commissioner Postula, to acknowledge the correspondence received in the Clerk’s Office, and if necessary, forward to the appropriate committee. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

It was moved by Commissioner Postula, supported by Commissioner Hopper, to approve the County Board minutes of January 12, 2004 as prepared by the County Clerk. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

Chairman Kay introduced Sharon Kennedy, Register of Deeds/Equalization Director. Ms. Kennedy informed the Board that a member of her staff in the Register of Deeds Office had a pre planned surgery scheduled for the end of March and that date has now been moved to March 4. Ms. Kennedy was asking for some flexibility in terms of staffing during the recuperation of this employee.

It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Timmer, to give latitude to Ms. Kennedy to hire, if necessary, outside help in the Register of Deeds Office or to increase work hours for the present staff in the office to fill the gap created by this absence. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

Jim Terrian, Chippewa County Health Dept., introduced, through a slide presentation, a proposed regulation to ban smoking in all enclosed worksites in Chippewa County. Only restaurants and bars would be exempt from this local regulation. The proposed regulation will be brought before the Chippewa County Health Board at their February 27th meeting. A number of public hearings will be held before being brought back to the County Commission for their consideration/adoption.

Next on the agenda, Brian Peppler, Chippewa County Prosecutor, informed the Board that he had been one of twenty nine appointees throughout the State of Michigan to sit on The Michigan Mental Health Commission, the first temporary commission designed to recommend changes in both the delivery of service and effectiveness of Michigan’s mental health network.

By executive order, the Commission will meet in 2004 to re-evaluate the states publicly-funded mental health system with the ultimate goal of using its recommendations to transform Michigan’s mental health system into a national model.

Mr. Pepper was looking for written input from the Commissioners and also stated that Public Hearings will be held. Findings will be reported back to the Commission by October 1, 2004.

PUBLIC COMMENTS:

Don McLean read the following statement:

At this months Hiawatha Behavioral Health meeting we mentioned the need for the agency to revamp its crisis hot line and patient screening process.

We feel that any resident who contacts the agency while in the midst of a mental crisis should be provided appropriate services or be transferred directly to another agency.

We believe nobody should be turned away while they are in the midst of a mental crisis.

We feel this type of service could be funded with the money presently being spent on; management and employee bonuses, tuition payments for management and staff, SUV’s trees, staff luncheons, public relations, parties, picnics and plaques.

This type of crisis system would better service the taxpayers and save lives.

We indicated to HBH that if they found they could not do this then the money they are presently squandering on bonuses, tuition, luncheons, SUV’ et. Should be used to reduce each county’s allocation so the counties could spend the money on the welfare of the taxpayers.

As has been the practice of the HBH board, for the last three years we have been presenting our concerns, they simply gave us our time and moved on.

Later in the meeting great concern was expressed about a meeting held in Lansing between this county commission and various state officials.

We listened with interest as various HBH board members basically moved their lips and shuffled their feet regarding the concerns of Chippewa County.

In what we consider to be a better reflection of their attitude the HBH board pushed through a series of pay increases, creation of a lavish post retirement health care package and an unnecessary contract extension just for the CEO.

Three HBH board members objected to this new and completely unnecessary pay and benefit package with one suggesting it be tabled until the entire board could have input.

The HBH board pushed on and the measure passed with only Commissioner Kay, Bernie LaJoie and St. Ignace representative Fred Fillippa voting against.

Part of this provision extended the CEO’s contract to June 2007.

In light of these actions we urge you to continue to work to see that the residents of Chippewa County get the best possible mental health care.

Bridget Nodurft read the following statement:

My name is Bridget Nodurft and I am here as a representative of a watchdog group called the Whitefish Point Preservation Society. I strongly object that your August 11, 2003 minutes so altered my statement to you during that meeting that my statement was in effect covered up. I told you that the Michigan Attorney General’s office had instructed us to bring our concerns to you regarding the Chippewa County Road Commissioner. I gave you ample documentation that the Road Commission has been in an overly cozy relationship and conducting work for a private company call the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical society. I informed you that the Federal Highway Administration has ordered an audit of the Road Commission for the return of an estimated $280,000 in grant funds improperly used on a Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society project at Whitefish Point. As a taxpayer, I asked that the return of that money not come from the Road Commission or the County coffers.

The Road Commission is not alone. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is investigating possible fraud of $131,198 grant funneled through Whitefish Township to the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society. The Department of Environmental Quality has withdrawn a Clean Michigan Initiative Waterfront Redevelopment $48,347 Grant awarded to Whitefish Township on behalf of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society due to public access and safety issues.

Again, I ask that any return of grant funds not come from the Road Commission or County coffers. I request that this statement, in its entirety, be entered into the Chippewa County Commission minutes.

CONTROLLER’S REPORT – Tim Dolehanty

Sheriff Moran submitted his year end report for 2003 and was available to answer any questions the Commissioners had.

Commissioner Timmer asked how many individuals were now on tether. Sheriff Moran responded that the figure differs from time to time but thought at this particular time there were five.

It was moved by Commissioner Cooper, supported by Commissioner Dale, to accept the nominations of Richard W. Beadle, William P. Connolly, Dr. Leif V. LaLone, Cynthia Ojala and James Russell Johnson as candidates for one open board seat on the Hiawatha Behavioral Health Board. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Moore, to appoint Aaron Hopper as the 2004 appointee to the UPCAP Board of Directors. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

It was moved by Commissioner Hopper, supported by Commissioner Timmer, appoint Audrey Lyons as the Boards 2004 representative to the UPCAP/AAA Advisory Council. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

Resolution No. 04-03, Resolution in Support of Kewadin Casino Indians Junior A Hockey Team, was presented to the Board for consideration.

Commissioner Cooper informed the Board that the Sault Tribe Board was having a work session tonight and the hockey team was going to be a point of discussion at this meeting.

It was moved by Commissioner Cooper, supported by Commissioner Timmer, to table consideration of this resolution until after the Sault Tribe’s meeting. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

It was moved by Commissioner Hopper, supported by Commissioner Postula, to approve Resolution No. 04-04 as follows:

RESOLUTION IN APPRECIATION AND SPECIAL RECOGNITION

OF TROOPER CHARLES HOFFRICHTER, III

WHEREAS, Trooper Charles Hoffrichter, III enlisted with the Michigan State Police on September 25, 1978: and

WHEREAS, Trooper Charles Hoffrichter, III has served the State Police at Posts located in New Baltimore, Detroit and Romeo: and

WHEREAS, Trooper Charles Hoffrichter, III honorably served the citizens of Chippewa County during his tenure at the Sault Sainte Marie State Police Post from June 11, 1989 until his retirement, effective February 14, 2004.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, as follows:

1. That the Chippewa County Board of Commissioners respectfully dedicates this document to honor and thank Trooper Charles Hoffrichter, III for his many years of public service and particularly for his work in Chippewa County.

2. That the Chippewa County Board of Commissioners extend their wishes to Trooper Charles Hoffrichter, III for many years of good health and enjoyment in his retirement.

On a roll call vote, the motion carried unanimously.

OLD BUSINESS: None

STANDING COMMITTEE REPORTS:

Personnel – Rita Dale – No meeting

Equalization & Apportionment – Jim Moore – No meeting

Health & Social Services – Ted Postula – No meeting

Building, Grounds & Jail – Earl Kay – No meeting

Transportation – Ted Postula – No meeting

Legislative & Natural Resources – Richard Timmer - February 10, 2004

Commissioner Timmer reported on the Legislative & Natural Resources Committee meeting held on February 10, 2004 in the Office of State Rep. Scott Shackleton in Lansing, MI. Discussion was held on issues concerning Mental Health services. This report was for informational purposes only and no action by the County Board was necessary.

It was moved by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner Dale, to accept the report as given. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

February 2, 2004

Commissioner Timmer reported on the Legislative & Natural Resources Committee meeting held on February 2, 2004 in the Chippewa County Courthouse. Discussion was held on HBH issues, Animal Care Agreement and emergency shelter of pets. This report was for informational purposes only and no action was required by the County Board.

It was moved by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner Dale, to accept the report as given. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

Computer Committee – Don Cooper – No meeting

Finance, Claims & Accounts – Rita Dale - February 5, 2004.

At the Finance meeting, Commissioner Dale called for additions or deletions to the agenda. It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Postula, to amend the agenda to include the purchase of a digital video recorder for the Sheriff’s Department. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

Veteran Affairs Director Jim Shogren provided the Committee with a copy of Public Act 290 of 2004 that raised the burial allowance eligibility threshold to $40,000 per qualifying estate. The previous threshold was $25,000. He stated the new law allows counties to pass a resolution to maintain the lower amount if that was their preference.

It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Cooper, to recommend approval of the new $40,000 eligibility threshold for veterans applying for burial allowances in Chippewa County, as allowed under Act 290. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

County Controller Tim Dolehanty presented quotes received for the purchase of three sheriff patrol vehicles. He recommended acceptance of the quote received from O’Connor Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep because it met the criteria set forth in the request for quotes and was the low bid.

It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Timmer, to recommend acceptance of the quote from O’Connor Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep for the purchase of three sheriff patrol vehicles at a cost not to exceed $59,250. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

Controller Dolehanty presented quotes received for the purchase of a snow machine. He recommended acceptance of the quote received from Northstar Motorsports because it met the criteria set forth in the request for quotes and was the low bid. Mr. Dolehanty noted funds for this purchase would come from the State snowmobile patrol grant.

It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Cooper, to recommend acceptance of the quote from Northstar Motorsports for the purchase of one snow machine at a cost not to exceed $5,999. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

Controller Dolehanty explained that a request for proposals was issued for the purchase of a digital video recorder system for the jail, Sheriff Moran distributed additional information obtained from Simplex Grinnell for the purchase. It was noted that this was the only proposal submitted in response for proposals. Sheriff Moran confirmed that the proposal included installation and training.

It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Hopper, to recommend acceptance of the proposal from Simplex Grinnell for the purchase and installation of a digital video recorder system for the jail at a cost not to exceed $24,480.00. On a voice vote, the motion carried with Commissioner Cooper voting no.

Controller Dolehanty presented two proposals received for civil process server services. Sheriff Moran stated the civil process server contract was up for renewal this year.

It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Cooper, to recommend proposals for civil process service be solicited following the established bid policy. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

Controller Dolehanty presented the liability insurance renewal contract with the Michigan Municipal Risk Management Authority. He noted the total cost to the County would be less than the figure quoted because the quote included coverage for the City-County Building.

It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Cooper, to accept the proposal from the Michigan Municipal Risk Management Authority for liability insurance coverage at a cost not to exceed $174,917, and that the liability insurance package a competitively bid before the start of the next fiscal year. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

Controller Dolehanty presented a proposed software agreement from the County Treasurer. It was noted that the software was necessary in order to properly record and process homestead property tax exemptions.

It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Timmer, to recommend acceptance of the proposal to provide homestead property tax exemption software agreement presented by Manatron, Inc. at a cost not to exceed $1,500. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

Finance Director Dave Carpenter reviewed the requirements of Act 124 of 2003 requiring creation of Fund 264 for corrections officer training. Mr. Carpenter stated inmates booked into the county jail would be assessed an additional $12.00 of which $10.00 would be retained by the County for the training fund.

It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Timmer, to concur with the recommendation of the Finance Director to establish Fund 264. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Timmer, to recommend the approval of general funds claims totaling $141,846.01, other funds claims of $247,555.46, payroll of $579,808.34 and health department claims of $423,703.67, for total claims of $1,392,913.48, vouchers 35195 through 35376 and B-1 through B-98. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

Commissioner Cooper discussed a conversation he had with employees at the Sault Tribe concerning insurance coverage offered by Jack Gordon of Best of America. He also suggested rescinding the motion from January that named Mr. Gordon as the County’s insurance agent.

It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Cooper, to recommend that the January motion naming Jack Gordon as the County’s insurance agent be rescinded due to misrepresentation. Mr. Gordon could get the information he needed without being the representative for the County. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

This concluded Commissioner Dale’s report of the Finance, Claims and Accounts Committee meeting. It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Moore, to accept the report as given. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

NEW BUSINESS:

Controller Dolehanty reported on a meeting held with Commissioner Dale, Hopper and Chairman Kay along with Jim Colvault, State Court Administrator’s Office, Judge Lambros, 50th Circuit Court and Judge MacDonald, 91st District Court re: employee internal transfers and pay levels.

It was noted that the County Board adopted a pay scale policy at their December meeting which the Courts are not recognizing.

After the meeting, it was the consensus of the Commissioners in attendance, the most cost effective solution to this situation was to recommend paying the three in house transfer positions at the level and rate of pay recommended by the Judges and not go to litigation.

It was moved by Commissioner Cooper, supported by Commissioner Hopper, to accept the findings of the committee and to go forward with the Judges wishes. On a voice vote, the motion carried with Commissioners Timmer and Postula voting no.

Having no further business, it was moved by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner Moore, to adjourn. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously. Thereupon the Board did adjourn at 8:27 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Diane S. Cork, County Clerk

Earl Kay, Chairman